Arrive at your destination safely this holiday season

By Exeter Finance

For many of us, travel is inevitable during the holiday season and into the new year. Each winter, we make our plans, pack up our stuff and get on our way -- with Thanksgiving and December holidays being the driving force behind all of this travel.

Yet, no matter how seasoned we are as travelers, planning holiday travel logistics often seems like an extended game of “would you rather.” Fly or drive? Depart earlier or later? Spend more time with extended family or preserve your personal sanity? Bring the dog or leave her home?

The one element we can all agree on, though, is that wherever we go, we all want to get there safely. So, we’ve looked at travel trends that might make hitting the road this holiday season feel a little safer, better planned, and a little less hit-or-miss.

For starters, according to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 5-7 p.m. is the most dangerous time to be on the road – during the typical time for commuting home from work.1 The most dangerous day to drive is Saturday, and both Christmas and New Year’s Day happen to fall on a Saturday in 2021. That’s important to keep in mind if driving to your destination is part of your holiday plans this year.

Just how busy will it be on the roads this holiday season? According to AAA last year, some 50-55 million people typically travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.2 The automotive organization went on to share that even with a dip in travel in 2020, more than 47 million people chose traveling by car over other forms of Thanksgiving travel. News sources nationwide almost-unanimously declare that the Wednesday before and Sunday following Thanksgiving are the busiest travel days. Combine the two, and you’ve got the makings of a departure game plan and a “too-much-time-with-the-in-laws” exit strategy!

When it comes to holiday travel during December, travel time at Christmastime is tops on the list. For a 12-day period surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day, a record 115.6 million travelers were estimated to have ventured out in 2019.3 Even during the pandemic, there were 84.4 million people who traveled during that period in 2020.4 With that many people on the road, experts say it’s just smart to allow yourself plenty of time and not rush around.

One more item we want to share with you about holiday travel is some intel about renting a car at this time of year. In a recent article published by Travel and Leisure, data provided by Kayak tells us that searches for car rentals during the holiday season are already up by 243% compared to 2020.5 With a shortage in vehicle inventory across the country, the publication goes on to suggest booking your holiday rental car as far in-advance as possible.

We know – it’s a lot to take in. But the more you know before embarking on your holiday journey, the smarter you can be about your travels. Happy holidays and safe travels from all of us here at Exeter Finance.

1 Kaufman, Liza (December 2, 2020). Most Dangerous Times for Driving. Retrieved from:
2 Edmonds, Ellen (November 12, 2020). Fewer Americans Traveling This Thanksgiving amid Pandemic. AAA Newsroom. Retrieved from: 
3 Edmonds, Ellen (December 12, 2019). AAA Says 115.6 Million Travelers will Break Holiday Records. AAA Newsroom. Retrieved from:
4 Edmonds, Ellen (December 15, 2020). Three-quarters of Americans are expected to stay home; AAA advises caution for those who decide to travel. AAA Newsroom. Retrieved from:

5 Leasca, Stacey (September 17, 2021). Why You Should Book Your Rental Car Before Anything Else This Holiday Season. Travel and Leisure. Retrieved from:

About Exeter
Exeter Finance LLC is a non-prime auto finance company headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company partners with franchised and independent auto dealers throughout the country to make car ownership a reality for consumers. For more information, call our Dealer Operations Group at 1-855-4EXETER (855-439-3837).

Category: Lifestyle